On this occasion I was not at the Moot some very good people took notes so that we could all enjoy an account of what was experienced.
Evolution of Avebury
Terry talks to room;
How Avebury was when it was fully functional
50,000 yrs or 2 ice ages ago
Indigenous tribes would have had shamans, people who had herbal, medicinal, and ancestral knowledge, and due to the nature of the necessary training this would have likely been an inherited position, Father/Son, Mother/Daughter.
This area of Wiltshire is chalk down lands and it was cleared around the last ice age, due to the nature of chalk land it is very easy to clear, the roots don’t penetrate the ground as deeply, it also recovers quickly, and even after extensive over-use is restored after being left fallow for a few years.
This area was used for animal husbandry so clearing the countryside was for protection during a time when we were not the top predators, wolves and bears would have preyed on us and our herds.
The tribes who came here were shamanic based societies, who then moved to ancestral worship, as hunter/gatherers if they wanted to know the herd movements they would consult the tribal elders, who in turn would ask the tribal ancestors who have far longer memories.
These tribes also decided to honour their dead differently, they preferred to raise their dead up on stilts, the sanctuary may have been used for this, the Ridgeway goes straight through the sanctuary and may have been a processional way for honouring the dead, with only tribal elders/ shamans/priests ending up at the sanctuary.
At this time in history while we we’re somewhat masters of husbandry, we had very little in the way of agricultural technology, while what was considered Mesopotamia had agriculture but little husbandry.
Once we did get into agriculture, wheat, barely etc there was a massive increase in the population. This was largely due to the better living and eating conditions provided by farming.
Tribal Shamans were now in the position of having to predict the weather patterns and cycles for the farmers, they needed an accurate way to keep track of the passing of the seasons.
In this area their answer was to build windmill hill, as a clock of the seasons. Sort of like an experiment at an ancient form of technology college.
Windmill hill had a large stone circle around it and when it was decided to have another go at the clock concept at Stonehenge, they moved the stones using rafts on the river Kennett from windmill hill to Stonehenge, as well as other pre-existing sites. This was all in the pursuit of more accurate calculations of weather patterns, tides and other things that effect farming.
The cove stone would have been put in first as it is the biggest, and when building you always put the biggest bit in first as it makes the most mess, the 98 stones around the outside are to predict the movements of the moon, the stones contain 70% quartz which has a phenomenal resonance for which these stones were chosen and its memory properties were used to store the cycles of the moon over 18.61years, or to be totally accurate 6 times that which is 111.6years. This is why Silbury took so long to build, it was built to coincide with the cycles.
Avebury is like the grandfather clock, unreliable. With Stonehenge however it is more like a pocket watch, they used every trick of empowerment they could find, including using already empowered stones, they could fracture time down to a minute, but that still leaves plenty of space for mistakes from inaccuracy.
Q: Were Avebury and Stonehenge important before the ice age? (Frank)
A:There is evidence of a 48,000 year old Neanderthal site on Woden hill, and mammoths were hunted nearby, by running them off cliffs.(Terry)
7-8000 years ago people inhabited Britain, during the slow creep of the ice they migrated further and further south, till they eventually went across the water to Spain, after the ice age as the ice began to retreat again, their descendants migrated back to Britain.
A lot of people think we’re descended from Neanderthals, we’re not! Homosapiens were around then and we’re possibly a mix breed of both. (Ian)
Q: Why was accuracy so important? (Andy)
A:Cycles need to be understood for weather prediction, so that crops can be planted/harvested in the right conditions, you also work the land by the tides of the moon, for growing and cropping. (Terry)
Avebury was considered special cause of it conjunction with the Ridgeway.
Windmill hill would have been the market place and avebury would have been where the big ceremonies for all the communities would have been celebrated. (Ian)
It’s the romans fault for burning all the books leading to a lack of understanding and knowledge (Andy)
It doesn’t matter what it was for. What matters is what we use it for. We see it as a spiritual temple so who cares what archaeologists think. (unknown)
Finally a few announcements were made during the break;
Beltain dawn (the 1st) @ Tash an Gordon's 4:15am ready for kiss chase and maypoles.
Circular fundraising afternoon at the little hall Avebury on the 1st may 3 till 6.
Calne litter pick group on the 14th April, (Moira says you have the details)
If people are likely to want breakfast at the pub after the well dressing could you please let Tash or Gordon know so the pub can get in plenty of supplies (don’t want to run out)
Piers and Nick introduced themselves as the knew representatives of ASSF (avebury sacred sites forum) and offered people an opportunity to come and talk to them if you have any queries/suggestions asked people to get involved in writing and lobbying the NT and our own MP’s, they’re going to make a standard letter and relevant addresses available through a link on the circulars website, we need as much support as can be mustered!